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Atari: Game Over (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 20 November 2014 (USA)
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A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s.

Director:

Zak Penn
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zak Penn ... Himself - Narrator
Joe Lewandowski Joe Lewandowski ... Himself - Waste Disposal Expert & Historian
Robert Rentschler Robert Rentschler ... Himself - Former Mayor, Alamogordo
Paul Sanchez Paul Sanchez ... Himself - Mayoral Candidate, Alamogordo
Manny Gerard Manny Gerard ... Himself - Co-Chief Operating Officer, Warner Communications Inc.
Nolan Bushnell ... Himself - Co-Founder, Atari
Seamus Blackley Seamus Blackley ... Himself - Co-Creator, Xbox
Howard Scott Warshaw Howard Scott Warshaw ... Himself - Game Engineer, Atari Inc.
Son Huffmon Son Huffmon ... Himself - Construction Division Manager, Mese Verde Enterprises
Pat Magill Pat Magill ... Himself - Director of Engineering, Mese Verde Enterprises
Mike Mika Mike Mika ... Himself - Game Designer & Preservationist
Susie Galea Susie Galea ... Herself - Mayor, Alamogordo
Andrew Reinhard Andrew Reinhard ... Himself - Archaeologist, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Raiford Guins Raiford Guins ... Himself - Associate Professor of Culture & Technology, Stony Brook University
Ernest Cline ... Himself - Screenwriter & Novelist
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Storyline

A crew digs up all of the old Atari 2600 game cartridges of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" that were tossed into a landfill in the 1980s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

32.886668 N, 105.967336 W

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | German | French | Italian

Release Date:

20 November 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atari: Game Over See more »

Filming Locations:

Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was supposed to be the first episode of a six part documentary series called 'Signal to Noise', made by Xbox Entertainment Studios. However, in July 2014, it became apparent that mother company Microsoft was going to shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios. Because of this, no other episodes of 'Signal to Noise' were made. See more »

Quotes

Himself - Narrator: [Discussing the chances that the digging of the dump being successful] You're saying that there's a possibility that this could turn out to be a giant waste of time?
Himself - Waste Disposal Expert & Historian: I think I've said it before: I'll bet the car, I won't bet the house.
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Connections

References Centipede (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A lot of hyperbole and inaccuracies hinder this from being better.
5 April 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This overlong documentary is full of hyperbole as it goes on a search in an Alamagordo trash dump to see if they can discover the final resting place for tons of unwanted "E.T." video games. In addition, the film follows the history of Atari up to 1982 (and oddly, completely abandons this after 1982). In the course of the film you are presented with a few interesting interviews as well as many uninteresting ones--either filled with folks who seem to have no reason to be there or who come off as egotistical jerks.

"Atari: Game Over" is a film that drives the history teacher in me mad. While the show is interesting to watch for nostalgic reasons (after all, I had an Atari 2600) it's history is poor to say the least. According to so much of "Atari: Game Over" the company was destroyed by the game "E.T." or at least that it died soon after the game died on the shelves--but this is NOT the case at all. The Atari 2600 was soon replaced by the Atari 5200 and Atari 7800 and the company limped on through the 1980s and did NOT fold after the failure of "E.T."--so pretty much everything about the film is wrong when it comes to the real history. Saying the popularity of the Atari games peaked with "E.T." and it was all decline from then on, that WOULD be accurate. But the company dying was not just because of "E.T." but the lousy controllers for the 5200 (they were cheap plastic and overly complicated--and broke VERY quickly) and the system wasn't fixed...it was abandoned. As for the 7800, its titles never generated much excitement--especially since folks were afraid the system would also soon be abandoned. A variety of other financial missteps also hastened the decline, so the whole notion that the company disappeared after "E.T." debuted it a hoax. There must be better films about Atari out there...this one is full of sentiment but short on facts.


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